This is one very moist fruitcake, &, in my humble opinion, a huge cut above the usual fruitcake with candied fruit! And, when you can get raves from friends & relatives who don't ordinarily like fruitcake, well, that's definitely a plus! I usually use apricot brandy, but not always. For the dates, I like to use a cup of 'Fancy Medjool' dates & a cup of regular pitted dates, which I believe are 'Deglet Noor' dates. If the cake will probably be eaten during its first 'presentation,' you might want to unmold it onto a 14" serving plate & let it cool completely. Then, just before serving it, sprinkle the top lightly with powdered sugar, and--with pieces of larger dried fruits such as whole dates, apricot halves, apple slices, pear & peach halves, etc--fill the center of the cake & also place some on the edge of the serving plate all around the cake. Preparation & cooking time does not include the time it takes for the fruit mixture to cool.